Four children were murdered in Oakland County, Michigan in 1976-1977. The small rural county was paralyzed with fear as a killer preyed upon their children. Folklore has it that in the 1970’s The Walled Lake Killer would kidnap children from the Walled Lake Amusement park pictured above.
He or she then allegedly took the children to the tree at night, where he murdered them, tossed their shoes up in the tree, and buried them in a nearby field. The tale is purportedly an urban legend, but the fact remains that there was a shoe tree and the four deaths have never been solved. The killer was never captured. Perhaps he or she moved on to another town.
The previous two paragraphs above were written by me in November of 2013 as I teased the upcoming release of my fictional book The Sneaker Tree.
The book isn’t about the deaths in Michigan, but the history of Walled Lake, Michigan had some eerie similarities with the plot of my book.
Walled Lake was founded in 1825. The sleepy, little town is a western suburb of big city Detroit. In 2010 it’s census revealed less than 7,000 residents and the crime rates are relatively low.
This past September another tragedy rocked this lake town. A Walled Lake man shot his wife, daughter and dog before being shot to death by police. His daughter was the only survivor. Since that day I’ve noticed a fair amount of traffic coming to The Phil Factor to read my 2013 post about sneaker trees and The Walled Lake Killer. That got me to wondering if other people were thinking the same thing as me?
With these two horrific tragedies having occurred in the same small town, I started to wonder if it’s possible that Walled Lake Michigan is cursed just like Hawkins, Indiana in Netflix’s Stranger Things? What do you think? Can a place be cursed or forever haunted?
Have a great Fri-Yay! ~Phil
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